Kanye West in hospital for exhaustion

Kanye West, seen above at his Saint Pablo tour in Indianapolis in August, is apparently dealing with sleep deprivation.
Kanye West, seen above at his Saint Pablo tour in Indianapolis in August, is apparently dealing with sleep deprivation.PHOTO: NYTIMES

LOS ANGELES • Rapper Kanye West was hospitalised on Monday in Los Angeles for exhaustion, hours after he cancelled the remainder of his 2016 tour, said his representative.

The Los Angeles Police Department said it had responded to a call in the West Hollywood area at 1.20pm, but that the encounter became a "medical emergency" and was handed to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

West's representative said the call had come from the rapper's doctor and that he was taken willingly to the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center for evaluation.

An unnamed source told People magazine that West was dealing with sleep deprivation and that he was fine.

The cancellation of his Saint Pablo tour, which was to run through Dec 31, followed a demanding period for the rapper. Since August, he has performed about 40 dates in Canada and the United States, rapping above the stage on an innovative "floating" platform.

He released an album in February and presented two fashion collections. Midway through a gig in New York last month, he was told that his wife, television reality star Kim Kardashian, had been robbed at gunpoint in a hotel in Paris.

He then cut several tour dates, but made a comeback in his Chicago hometown, performing without incident till a show in Oakland on Oct 22 where he described the Grammys as "rigged".

Then, last Saturday, at a Sacramento show, he sang three songs before berating other artists and defeated White House hopeful Hillary Clinton, and cutting the performance short.

West said he was "hurt" because singer Beyonce supposedly said she would not perform at an awards show unless she wins Video of the Year over him.

"I've been sent here to give y'all my truth, even at the risk of my own life, even at the risk of my own success, my own career," he said.

He implored Beyonce's husband, rapper Jay Z, to "call me, bro, you still ain't called me", adding that he was hurt that Jay Z had failed to visit his family after the robbery.

"Jay Z, I know you got killers. Please don't send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man," he added, appearing to suggest that his friend employed hitmen.

He also criticised Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg for failing to give him US$53 million (S$75.5 million) to get out of debt.

Last Thursday, he told an audience he did not vote, but would have chosen President-elect Donald Trump, sparking boos. His show on Sunday night in Los Angeles was axed just hours before he was set to perform.

There was some support for the star on Twitter as well as an angry backlash, with fans accusing him of "crazy talk" and having "lost the plot".

West himself raps about going off his medications on his latest album. On the song Feedback, he raps: "I been outta my mind a long time" and "Name one genius that ain't crazy."

Another tune, FML, includes his rap about how "you ain't never seen nothing crazier" than a person when he is off his Lexapro.

Lexapro is a psychiatric drug used to treat anxiety and depression.

West, who has talked about plans to run for president in 2020, earned US$17.5 million this year, according to Forbes magazine.

He would lose a hefty sum by cancelling the tour. Forbes put the figure at about US$10 million while analysts told Bloomberg he was surrendering US$30 million in potential ticket sales.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'Kanye West in hospital for exhaustion'. Subscribe